27 of April 2016

ALER's field trip to Angola

Dear Members, Partners and Friends of ALER,

During the month of April I had the pleasure of visiting Angola to carry out ALER’s field trip to our priority country for the year 2016.

This trip was very productive and included meetings with 40 different entities, both public and private, which allowed to extend ALER’s contacts network and to engage in cooperation and information sharing with the relevant national entities in the energy sector.

I was honored to meet several representatives of MINEA - Ministry of Energy and Water, from the National Renewable Energy Directorate, the National Rural Electrification Directorate and the International Exchange Office, besides the three new public companies created after the Electricity Sector Transformation Program (PTSE), namely PRODEL, ENDE and RNT. All of them showed great interest in working together with ALER to promote renewable energies.

It was also possible to identify and meet with some companies that are currently developing renewable energy projects in Angola, showing private sector momentum and interest in this market, which ALER will strive to promote. It should also be stressed the openness of the oil companies to make use of renewable energy as part of their sustainability and social investment projects, many of them not able to operate in full conditions due to power supply-related problems that a renewable energy system could overcome.

It should not be forgotten that the Government itself has also been undertaking initiatives to promote renewable energies, foreseeing private sector participation, such as the launch of a small hydro power plants tender, together with the drafting of the SE4All Action Plan and preparation of the 2025 Energy Strategy for Angola, which includes a Renewable Energy Atlas and complements the 2013-2017 Action Plan currently in force.

To achieve all these energy sector transformations the support from Government partners has been critical, whether from multilateral partners, with focus on the African Development Bank, or bilateral partners, with whom I also hold meetings. Other energy sectors with less prominence than electricity, such as the promotion of improved stoves and sustainable charcoal production have not been overlooked, and UNDP, the UN Development Program, will start promoting these sustainable alternatives to the huge biomass dependency in Angola.

But not only MINEA has been promoting renewable energies. The Environment Ministry (MINAMB) is an increasingly important partner in this field, especially after the Paris Agreement reached at COP21 which the Minister has just signed last April 22nd at the United Nations headquaters. In the framework of MINAMB activities we emphasize the creation of the National Association of Environmental Technology Companies in Angola.

I also met with educational, training and awareness raising institutions about renewable energy, since the training of qualified national human resources is a major concern of ALER, that we will do our best to promote with the extension of our LERenováveis project. On this matter we would like to highlight the visit to the Electricity Training Centre and the meeting with the coordinator of the Energy Education Program, “Vida, Energia e Eu” (Life, Energy and Me).

The support of IRSEA, the recently restructured Regulator Institute for Electricity and Water Services, was essential for the success of this trip. I would therefore like to leave a special thank you note to IRSEA's President Eng. Luis Mourão and all his team.

We are very excited to work in partnership with all national stakeholders to promote the great potential of renewable energies in Angola. We count on you and everyone else.

Estamos juntos!

Isabel Cancela de Abreu

Executive Director of ALER